OVERNIGHT HEALTH: ObamaCare contractors on the hot seat tomorrow

The host of the Fox show, Bill O’Reilly, on Tuesday encouraged Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama The Hill's 12:30 Report Rubio taps head of Heritage Action as new chief of staff MORE (R-Fla.) to recruit Manchin to sponsor the legislation, which would postpone the requirement until users can consistently access the ObamaCare website. Healthwatch has more.

'Alpha teams':
The White House and insurance companies are creating “alpha teams” that will work to address the corrupted enrollment data that is being produced by the ObamaCare website. Senior administration officials, including White House chief of staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughEx-Obama chief of staff: Obama's Russia response was 'watered down' Former Obama officials launch advocacy group aimed at Trump's foreign policy Obama: Bannon, Breitbart shifted media narrative in 'powerful direction' MORE and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusTrump administration's reforms could make welfare work again Pro-dependency advocates miss the mark in attacking Kansas welfare reform Pence breaks tie to confirm Trump's pick for religious ambassador MORE, met with 14 executives from the nation's largest insurance companies on Wednesday to discuss how the geek squads would be deployed.

The meeting featured a "candid discussion on the challenges facing the exchange," according to Cynthia Michener, a spokeswoman for Aetna. "We hope this dialogue continues until the major problems are fixed," she said. Healthwatch has the details

'Just fix it': That's the boiled-down message coming from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as Democrats are scrambling to put out the wildfire of criticism and attention aimed at the botched rollout of ObamaCare's federal insurance website. 
In a press briefing where reporters asked about no other topic, Pelosi acknowledged that the problems dogging users trying to enroll in insurance plans on the HealthCare.gov website are "beyond glitches." 
Mike Lillis at The Hill reports.

The briefing they wanted: Obama administration officials will brief House Republicans on the problems facing the ObamaCare online enrollment system. Democratic lawmakers were briefed on Wednesday, provoking Republicans to demand one of their own. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.


ObamaCare blitz: Looking to combat headlines dominated by the technical problems plaguing the ObamaCare website, top Obama administration officials will fan out across the country to sell the American public on signing up for insurance under the law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will play a part in the blitz. The president started by releasing a video asking his supporters to talk to "friends, families, coworkers, classmates, neighbors and anyone else" to help promote the law.” Justin Sink at The Hill reports.

Saying goodbye: Health Care for America Now will soon close its doors now that ObamaCare enrollment has begun. Read Forbes's story on the group here.

Nothing to see here: House Democrats downplayed the significance of problems facing ObamaCare's enrollment system after their first post-rollout meeting with administration officials. 
Lawmakers were upbeat and said there was no discussion about delaying ObamaCare's individual mandate — a possibility that's been floated as users struggle to purchase healthcare coverage on the ObamaCare site. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

State by state

The Republican governor of Maine is looking to expand Medicaid in a way that his GOP colleagues will approve of.

The Republican governor of Ohio is facing legal challenges from six members of his own party over his move to expand Medicaid in the state.

The Republican governor of Nebraska, who opposes expanding Medicaid in his state, is clashing with his legislature over the matter.

Reading list

ObamaCare’s problems can be fixed, writes Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic.

The Heritage Foundation says ObamaCare discredits liberalism.

Chris Stirewalt at Fox News explains why the ObamaCare website problems are so embarrassing for Democrats.

Ezekiel Emanuel at The New York Times explains how to fix HealthCare.Gov.

What you may have missed on Healthwatch

Two House Democrats are calling for firings over the ObamaCare rollout.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is fishing for ObamaCare horror stories.

House Republicans returned to Capitol Hill this week to take turns bashing ObamaCare.

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Jonathan Easley/ jeasley@thehill.com / 202-407-8014 / @joneasley

Elise Viebeck/ eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck